If you are passionate about photography and are always interested in learning something new, I believe I found the place for you. Stills Gallery is Scotland's Centre for Photography and is located in one of the most suggestive streets - a serpentine link between the Royal mile and Waverley station.
As you may know, photography had had a tough integration process with the art world but the 20th century changed things around. It is not earlier than 1977, that a group of Scottish photographers opened their own space (named Stills) up on the High Street. In 1995-97, Stills was moved to the current building where it moulded into the space it is today. The new architecture project also involved the old Collective Gallery, at the time on the other side of the street, creating with the shapes of the two galleries a contrasting, yet connecting effect.
Stills is a nonprofit organisation which aim is to showcase and explore photography while engaging the public with each aspect of the process. They hold free exhibitions all year around that feature influent photographers as well as the contemporary and emerging ones; artists such as Luis Baltz, Jo Spence and Margaret Watkins have been on the same walls as, for example, the emerging photographers of the Jill Todd Photographic Award.
If you have never heard of them, they are worth checking out! Also, the new exhibition is on until the 9th of April and it is well worth a visit! Alan Dimmick's studio archive works cover almost entirely the first two walls of the gallery, but as you walk through, another type of collection is displayed where the heterogeneity of frames and sizes matches that of the photographers.
What is also worth checking are the courses and events constantly happening at Stills. With a library, digital and darkroom courses as well as talks and events, Stills offers a complete photography experience; and if you don't have a camera don't you worry, you can hire it!
Last weekend I attended a Palladium/Platinum printing workshop and it has been a revelation!
At first, I felt a little overwhelmed by all the chemicals and stuff but, the moment I saw my picture (taken with a digital camera) appearing on my unevenly cut 5x4 piece of paper my emotions went crazy. I felt I could have done that for days no stop, I thought of all the possibilities now available to me and how to create new art. It has been a great source of inspiration and surely a fulfilling way to spend my weekend, I would highly recommend it. Eventually, it is always nice to learn, create and share ideas with others interested in your same passion.
In conclusion, if you're around just pop in and ask the lovely staff, they will provide all of the information you need. Otherwise, you can just have a look online, but better be quick, spaces go very fast!